The Ontario Hawking Club (OHC) was founded in 1984 by a small group of dedicated falconers. Their goals in establishing the OHC were to protect and preserve the art of falconry in Ontario by:
- Providing communication and interaction between falconers
- Promoting high standards of practice and ethics
- Working with the government and other organizations to promote the recognition of falconry as a legitimate field sport
- Encouraging the conservation of birds of prey based on biologically sound management practices
The OHC Today
The Ontario Hawking Club currently has over 90 members whose falconry interests cover the entire spectrum of falconry-related activities in Ontario, including captive breeding, public display and education, airport and commercial bird control and, of course, recreational falconry (hunting with a raptor). However, the focus of the OHC is recreational falconry and the use of raptors for hunting.
We have several events during the year that promote learning, communication and advancing skills amongst our members. As well, the OHC has developed a Code of Ethics and an Apprenticeship Guide in order to promote high ethical standards and competence in the art of falconry. Facilities guidelines for the safe housing of captive birds of prey have also been developed. OHC membership is open to all persons of good moral character having a positive interest in falconry.
Falconers have always been at the forefront of raptor conservation efforts and the Ontario Hawking Club has done its part. We have been active supporters and participants in Peregrine Falcon recovery efforts by donating falcon chicks for releases in Ontario and other parts of Canada. We have also participated in several raptor field studies. Currently we are engaged in a multi-year project to identify and monitor Northern Goshawk nest sites.
If you are interested in raptors but not interested in hunting with them, there are several facilities in Ontario that offer interesting and educational opportunities to observe, and perhaps even hold on a glove, a bird of prey.
Mountsberg Conservation Area http://www.conservationhalton.ca/mountsberg-raptor-centre
Wye Marsh Wildlife Center https://www.wyemarsh.com/birds-of-prey
Luther Marsh Outdoors Day – held the third weekend of September annually http://www.youthoutdoorsday.com/